USA-based firm Fidelity has been on the scene since the 1940s and, as a result, it’s become one of the most reputable brokers in the British finance sector. But is it the best stock broker for SIPPs, ISAs, share investments and more? In this Fidelity review, we’ll aim to compare and contrast Fidelity trading fees and Fidelity commission through a comprehensive stock broker comparison. By looking at everything from account charges to pension costs. Our broker comparison will aim to provide useful advice for anyone looking to build a Fidelity investment portfolio.
- SIPPs, ISAs and more are all available
- Products for both adults and for children are on offer
- Competitive low fees are available – but charges from third-party providers on some products can add up
- A range of free services helps the investor cut costs
The Product Range
As is increasingly common across the industry, Fidelity charges the same fees on most of its investment products. So, if you decide to opt for Fidelity as your investment provider, you’ll be able to make your decisions based on what product suits your needs rather than on the price. Fidelity offers a highly competitive, industry-standard range of investment instruments, including self-invested personal pension plans (SIPPs), which allow you to construct your own retirement investment portfolio and invest £40,000 this year in a tax-friendly way.
Those looking to help plan for their children’s futures, can invest up to £3,600 this year in a tax-friendly way and receive a tax relief rate of 20%. In addition to these products, Fidelity also offers an investment account which allows you to access the full range of financial instruments on the market, such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or investment trusts, although it is worth bearing in mind that these can incur additional Fidelity fees and charges. There is also a range of ISAs on offer, too, which allow you to take advantage of the government’s tax-free savings incentive – currently capped at £20,000 – to help you meet specific savings goals. This may include planning for retirement or buying a home, or it may simply be a way to amass a savings cushion in case of a rainy day. It’s also possible to open a Junior ISA with Fidelity, too, to help you save for your child’s later life.
Fidelity’s Clear Pricing Structure
Fidelity account fees are not insignificant, but the firm has worked hard to ensure that the prices it does offer are clear, understandable and transparent. So, you will always know what you’re going to have to pay. The total Fidelity account fees you’ll pay will depend on the whole value of your portfolio – and the larger your portfolio is, in most cases, the less money in fees you’ll need to shell out. For those investors whose total portfolio value rests at a figure between £0 and £7,499.99, the basic annual Fidelity fees will usually be 0.35% of the total value if you have the Fidelity monthly regular savings plan, as well as the wider portfolio, and if your portfolio uses exchange-traded funds (ETFs). There is a fee cap of £45 in place too. If you don’t have the monthly regular savings plan, the fee will be a flat rate of £45 instead. It’s also worth bearing in mind that this figure is different for the Junior ISA and Junior Pension products: for these items, the service charge is a flat rate of £25. As you invest more, the Fidelity trading fees change. If you invest between £7,500 and £249,999.99, no matter whether you have the savings plan or not, your fee will be 0.35% of the total. If you invest between £250,000 and £1 million, then the fee will be 0.2%, and there are no fees charged on investment amounts above £1 million.
In addition to Fidelity commission, however, it’s worth remembering that there may be an additional set of Fidelity charges levied on your account. When you invest through Fidelity, third parties may also be involved in the process: fund management, for example, can be carried out by other companies, and you may have to pay fees to them in addition to paying fees to Fidelity, the broker. Basic ongoing fund fees can be as little as 0.06%, but this is at the lower end of the spectrum and charges can be higher. Depending on the exact fund with which your cash is invested, you may also have to pay a fee each time you buy or sell in order to cover the fund manager’s time, either as a direct charge or as part of a “bid-offer spread” fee system. You may also have to pay a performance fee, too. If you are concerned about the impact that these fees may have on your investment, you should speak to the Fidelity customer service team about what it might mean for you. They are available over the phone and through a secure online messaging service, and they have an excellent reputation among current clients. One TrustPilot user, for example, said: “Their website and the customer service are exemplary, especially given the complexity and diversity of their investment and other financial offerings.”
What You Get
Fidelity’s offer is still one of the best on the market, and that’s not only because of the relatively low fees for some products. It’s also because of the value for money that Fidelity’s services offer, too. No matter which product you opt for, Fidelity provides a wide range of services in return. Convenience is second nature for Fidelity, and the firm offers very easy access to its services, including 24/7 platform availability, accessibility from a variety of device types including smartphones, tablets and computers, and low barriers to getting started, including short account setup times and easy online trading interfaces which allow specific investments to be made in a simple and speedy manner. As well as this, Fidelity brings almost fifty years’ worth of experience to the table, so investors can rest assured that they are paying a reputable and well-established firm to manage their cash for them. Fidelity also offers all investors protection and security for their investments: the firm is part of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, for example, which covers investment cash up to £50,000 if the firm becomes insolvent, or £85,000 if the investor’s cash is being held in an account at a defaulting bank. Fidelity also keeps the cash its investors provide it with in completely separate accounts to its own business accounts, so there is no risk of its business resources and its investor cash becoming mixed in the event that the firm goes into financial difficulty.
Save Cash on Other Fees
While Fidelity’s fees are themselves quite low, the fee structure overall is noticeable for the absence of a wide range of other, more hidden fees, which often crop up in the offers of similar providers across the industry. Fidelity’s fees do not, for example, include an annual account charge, while there is also no charge for closing down an account or opening a new one. Another bonus in favour of this account is that there is no exit fee applied to Fidelity accounts, and it’s also possible to receive a printed valuation statement for free if you require one – perhaps for personal finance, recording purposes or to have a reliable, hardcopy receipt of your transactions. If you opt to have your cash paid to you via Bacs, this can be arranged free of charge without you having to pay any extra. In addition to this, many of the fund dealing charges which often get applied by other brokers are non-existent with Fidelity.
There are no selling or switching fees in place, for example, and there are also no tax relief re-investment fees or transfer charges to be paid. What’s more, this lack of Fidelity charges still applies whether you are dealing online as is now common, or over the phone.
- No cost for switching or selling fund deals
- No yearly account charge
- Free to open an account too
- Fee structure applies whether dealing occurs over the phone or online
Cut Down on Pension Costs
In particular, Fidelity’s fee structure is particularly advantageous for those who are investing for their retirement. Buying stocks with and through your pension can be a fantastic way to really make your money work for you and to make sure that it just doesn’t sit idle: even if you have finished work. The lack of pension-specific Fidelity fees is quite striking, especially given that this is an area which often does elicit charges from customers. If you wish to transfer out part or all of your pension to another scheme, either based here in Britain or elsewhere in the world, for example, it is possible to do so free of charge. There are also no administration charges per account, whether capped or flexible, on any of Fidelity’s pension products.
Fidelity also does not charge fees for a range of pension milestones, including death benefit arrangement, pension splitting in the event of a marriage or relationship breakdown, or triviality payments in the event that a smaller-sized pension is paid as a lump sum. These benefits offer a Fidelity pension account holder a large amount of flexibility in the way that they control their investment and gives the firm a distinct advantage compared to other providers.
- Appealing pension fee structure
- No fees on pension transfers at home or abroad
- No fees on triviality payments, pension splits, or death benefits arrangement
- No per-account admin charges
As well as looking at Fidelity charges in isolation, it is also important to look at the firm’s charges in comparison to other providers. A broker comparison like this enables you to work out which investment provider, and product, will suit you best. When choosing to invest your money, you need to make absolutely sure that every transaction is the right one for you and will work for you in the way that you want, whether that’s high-risk, fast-yield, or a lower risk investment that will work for you over time.
Apart from that, you all need to think about what fees your account might incur. Taking the basic administration charge for a DIY investment ISA as a starting point, Fidelity’s 0.35% on funds is dwarfed by the equivalent fees of many other providers, including Hargreaves Lansdown at 0.45%. However, there are some lower fees too, like Charles Stanley Direct’s 0.25% and Vanguard’s highly competitive 0.15%. It’s important to remember, however, that a like by like comparison is not always the most informative view to take. Some providers charge a flat rate instead, and this can end up being more or less cost-effective depending on your total investment amount. Interactive Investor, for example, charges £90 as a basic administrative fee for a DIY investment ISA. As a result, it is worth looking closely at the fees of each provider and working out which one suits your personal financial circumstances the best.
- Fidelity basic charges are lower than some other providers
- Some providers, however, offer cheaper basic fees
- Worth considering whether a flat rate is more cost-effective
Fidelity: Our Verdict
Fidelity is clearly one of the leading investment product providers on the market, and it has a range of advantages which make it appealing even to those who have little to no experience of investing. Its basic fees are not the lowest on the market, but they are highly competitive and can often be 0.1% or more lower than some of the firm’s major competitors. But it’s in the range of free services that allow Fidelity to really comes into its own. The platform does not charge for a whole host of tasks that other providers may charge for, including account openings or pension transfers either at home or abroad. And while there may be some additional fees to pay if your funds are managed by others, it’s worth remembering that Fidelity’s top customer service and easily-accessed online platform make the fees well worth paying. Overall, Fidelity is an ideal platform for those who require a cost-effective and good quality investment service offered by an established, trustworthy provider.